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Smart goals and objectives are the particular achievements or outcomes any business would like to attain. They are statements that are formalized and include everything you need/want for the business to grow successfully. Goals offer a broad aim: they are usually long term. It’s good to have around five goals every year so that you can focus on achieving them. Objectives, on the other hand, are a particular target or aim that assists in achieving a goal, when met. Several objectives can combine to achieve one goal.
A SMART goal setting method can be very useful in increasing sales or any other action that assists a business to grow. Let’s take a look at what the word SMART stands for and how entrepreneurs can use the Smart process to come up with structured goals that assist their businesses grow.
To begin with, the goals you set have to be specific. Each goal must have a single focus and should only be meant for one achievement. You may inform your employees that the company wants to ‘increase sales’ and stop at that. However, this kind of a goal will not move your team towards an action. A good example of a specific goal may be, “The sales team should increase sales of the electronics products this quarter in the western region”. This goal is specific and can help the sales team to move towards an action plan and eventually increase sales.
The smart goals you set need to be measurable. For instance, the example goal mentioned above informs the sales team that they have to increase sales. Well, are they supposed to sell one or two units to accomplish their goal? Or are they meant to increase the sales forever? Will they ever get to their goal? Smart goals have to create measures that the sales team can aim for. Give the team specific sales increase percentages, counts or averages to aim for to enable them measure their progress and adjust the objectives if need be.
When you inform your sales team to increase the sales by 200 percent this quarter and during the last quarter they only managed to increase by 10 percent, then you are out of touch. This kind of unrealistic goal cannot motivate you employees towards an action. However, in case certain new measures are being put in place and the team believes it’s possible, then they can work hard and achieve it. Smart goals must stretch your team, but the stretch shouldn’t be very extreme that they aren’t even willing to give it a try. Attainable goals are always a motivator to you as an entrepreneur and your entire team.
When you set up a goal and your team doesn’t understand why you asked them to reach that goal, the results will not impress you. According to Shapiro’s marketing objectives guide , you have to consider your resources first and that can assist you to achieve the set goal. Check if you have the staff, equipment, contact or if your staff is well trained and capable of handling the task. If you don’t have the necessary resources, then you can adjust your goal or get the resources you need.
A specific time frame is needed when setting smart goals. Time assists your team in crafting an action plan, and they know how quickly they have to move to attain the goal. It also gives you and your sales team a definitive point where you can stop and find out if you made it or not.
Consider developing SMART goals and objectives now and inform your team in time. You and your team are accountable for the goals, and if you work towards them, your business sales will improve.